The next day we took a quick trip to Orem to see my family, and give Vivian a chance to play with her cousins. She loved it. It was not a fix to our problem. We had to return to Logan for Justin to finish up his last few days of finals. We attempted to fill our down time with shopping trips, and...okay, just shopping trips, because 1. we live in Logan, and it's very boring there in the winter. 2. the limited indoor activities that are available to small children are germ fairs, and I can't send Vivian there to pick up every nasty little bug in town and bring it home to her tiny brother. So instead we've traversed every single aisle of our local Sam's Club, and Walmart, and the entire expanse of the Logan mall. The mall is tiny, and can be explored in it's entirety inside of a couple of hours. I know, because I've done it. More than once.
We took Vivian to a live nativity program, complete with sheep and a donkey. She loved it. It was ten degrees outside, it wasn't all that exciting, and the best part was the refreshments afterwards. We loved it too, we were frozen, but we were outside! Only for five minutes or so, since the majority of the program took place inside the warm chapel. We drove around the valley looking for Christmas lights. We found some decent displays. We loved it, because we were doing something besides sitting at home, but the kids...yeah, it was definitely the kids, were crabby and so it was sort of short-lived. We came home, we booked ourselves in for three nights at the timeshare in St. George, and called my parents to announce that we would be spending Christmas Eve with them on our way back to Logan. We called Justin's parents to announce that we'll be visiting them next in Boise. We started packing. Finals were done, there just wasn't any reason to stay in that situation. I've decided the key to surviving winter in Logan is to leave Logan as much as possible.
We made our escape Sunday evening. Justin had a couple of drill days to make up from missing them for Ivan's birth (I just get to have them excused since I actually gave birth). Since we were in Orem for a few days, Justin used the chance to take Vivian to a BYU basketball game. They returned home happy, thrilled really, to have been out and about having fun outside of the house. The next day we headed to warm, sunny St. George. It was not warm, and it was not sunny in St. George. It was cold and overcast. We spent the first evening settling in, and watching BYU win their bowl game in a downpour. The next day that storm moved into St. George. We are not that easily deterred. We loaded up the kids and drove to Zion National Park. It was cold, it was wet, and rain had not been in the forecast. We had nothing waterproof. However, Zion is always beautiful. Always. We drove from one end of the canyon to the other, and out through the tunnel and back in again, taking in all the waterfalls, and the colors that are twice as vibrant when wet. We attempted a hike, but we had nothing waterproof to shield Ivan from the cold rain, so a short way down the first trail we thought better of it and cut things short.
During this lunch break I went to change Ivan's diaper as he was stretched out across my lap. It was all going so well. I was just finishing up when he suddenly experienced an explosive poop. Justin sitting next to me in the passenger's seat was covered. He was too shocked at first to do anything but just sit there stunned, and then laugh, and then use dozens of wet wipes to wash off himself and everything in the nearby vicinity that was doused. My little Ivan looked very content and happy with himself.
Even in the freezing cold rain, and from the confines of our car, Zion is spectacular, and I still love being there. It was still pouring rain when we called it for the day and headed back to St. George.
|Ivan is a big fan of me. He just sort of tolerates his dad...sometimes.|
|This was during lunch in the car, to stay dry.|
|Vivian was loving the experience|
|Prior to our attempted hike. It was only sprinkling lightly.|
|We can't catch the colors well, this doesn't do it justice.|
|A little family photo. It was raining pretty hard, so Ivan is just a little bundle.|
|Raindrops on the lens, but the canyon was amazing in the rain.|
The next morning we got a late start. This happens a lot with a newborn it seems. We're ready to leave, and Ivan needs to eat. We're ready to leave and he blows out a diaper. We're ready to leave and he wants to eat again. We're ready to leave and Vivian needs a diaper change. It went on and on like that for a while that morning, but we were eventually able to actually leave. We headed straight to Snow Canyon State Park. My family used to vacation there when I was younger, but I haven't been back on my own, so it's been years. Why has it taken me so long to come back? It's more beautiful than I remember.
It was still very cold, with a strong canyon wind, but we bundled up Ivan and decided to take the chance to tackle a couple of very short, easy hikes. The first one was a little slot canyon, with a nearby overlook.
Next we drove over to the petrified dunes and let Vivian play around on the slick rock. It was really windy up on the rocks though, so our time there was a bit limited.
We called it and returned to the timeshare for Vivian's nap. During her nap I turned on the TV to check the weather reports for the trip home the next day. The first weather report was not encouraging. A few minutes later they repeated the weather with the forecast adjusted, and it sounded even more worrisome. When they repeated the weather a third time the weather man stated that for people planning on driving I-15 in Southern Utah to a Christmas destination, "if you haven't left yet, leave now." We debated whether or not this applied to us. At first we decided that it did not. After thinking it over, and considering the fact that we now have a 2-year old and 3-week old in tow, we reconsidered and decided that it did in fact apply to us. Justin started loading the car. When Vivian woke up we explained to her that there was a little change of plans. We told her that we wouldn't be going to see the nativity with real camels after all, but we could still go see the temple lights before we started the drive back to Grandma and Grandpa's. We offered her french fries for dinner as a consolation, and she was easily persuaded. World class parenting.
|Still no sun anywhere to be found, but at least it wasn't raining.|
|She was unhappy about the idea of returning to the car.|
|It was beautiful, and worth braving the cold.|
We cruised back to the parents on clear roads. We got in late, but without incident, and judging on some of the weather reports we saw today, it seems like we made the right choice. As Justin pointed out, even if the storm hadn't ever amounted to anything, we have two very small people counting us, which still made it the right choice. We're still not ready to just be stuck at home, so next up we'll recharge a bit, give the kids a break from their car seats, and then see if we can't find a break in the snow to make our way to Idaho.